Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Mental health panel discusses going back to school


September 2, 2020

Chikasha Anokfilli, which translates as “thinking Chickasaw,” is a mental health initiative exploring what it means to think Chickasaw. Through a series of panel discussions, presentations and activities, industry professionals will demonstrate how each of us can live healthier lives by focusing on balance and strength.

Chikasha Anokfilli began Aug. 27, with the first virtual panel discussion designed for parents with children returning to school in a COVID-19 environment. Parents and caregivers can learn the signs and symptoms of anxiety, and how the three R’s – relationship, routines and resilience – can help families succeed in the new school year. Panel participants include Dr. C.J. Aducci, Dr. Misty Boyd and Alicia Wear, a licensed professional counselor.

All experts in the mental health field and working within the Chickasaw Nation, the three sat down to share how parents can help their children as they transition back to school, whether it be in a classroom setting, virtually or a blending of the two.

“One of the big things is to remember that our relationships with our kids is going to be what pulls us through,” Dr. Boyd said. “Keeping open communication about what they may expect - what may go differently.”

The first panel discussion in the Chikasha Anokifilli series is available for everyone to view at

About the participants

Dr. Aducci has been employed with the Chickasaw Nation Department of Family Services since 2011, where he currently serves as the executive officer of strong family development. In this role, he provides leadership of mental health and substance use treatment programs available to Chickasaw citizens, First Americans and Chickasaw Nation employees.

Dr. Aducci has been a licensed marriage and family therapist in Oklahoma since 2014 and is a clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Dr. Boyd is a clinical psychologist and serves as the young child wellness expert for the Chickasaw Nation Research and Public Health Division. She has been a licensed psychologist for 15 years and has worked primarily in tribal settings serving First American children and families.

Dr. Boyd is grateful for her current work in public health. She is able to focus on supporting communities and families in creating the positive, nurturing environments that help children thrive now and in the future.

Wear is a program therapist with the Chickasaw Nation Outpatient Services in Ada, Oklahoma, with more than 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents and families. She began her work with the Chickasaw Nation in 1992 after completing her internship at the Chickasaw Nation Carl Albert Indian Health Facility Behavioral Health program.

Wear also worked with the Chickasaw Nation Youth Services program as a counselor, providing therapeutic team building services through ropes course activities, seminars and youth councils, and helping implement and teach the Chickasaw Nation Martial Arts program. She is certified in PCIT (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy) and CBT-MET (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Motivational Enhancement Therapy).


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